Cancer Home > Abstral Warnings and Precautions

If you are using Abstral for treating breakthrough cancer pain, it is important to know that this medication can cause potentially serious problems, such as a slow heart rate and potentially life-threatening breathing problems. Other safety precautions with Abstral involve warnings about using this drug while pregnant or breastfeeding. In addition, it can cause negative interactions with alcohol and several medications.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

Talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Abstral® (fentanyl sublingual tablets) if you have:
 
  • A history of drug or alcohol dependence or abuse
  • Liver disease, such as cirrhosis, liver failure, or hepatitis
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • A history of breathing problems, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or any other lung disease
  • A head injury, brain tumor, or increased pressure around the brain
  • A history of seizures
  • A slow heart rate or other heart problems
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
 
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
  • Breastfeeding
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant.
 
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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